An interesting thing happened on the way to Flagstaff for the weekend.  No, this thing happens most of the time when we drive anywhere.  It’s hard to describe in words but I will give it a try.  I for the most part drive when Nadine and I go anywhere.  I have seen my counterparts relinquish the driving to their wives as they sit in the passenger seat and become a passive bystander to the road.  In our case, I have sometimes asked Nadine if she wants to drive, but she always has said, “No!  I want you to drive.”  Don’t get me wrong.  She is an excellent driver and has rarely had a speeding ticket and I can say never since we have been together.  I can’t say the same for me unfortunately.  Anyways, this phenomena happens most of the time when we go anywhere.

This experience happens especially when we are going at high speeds (65+ mph) and pass a semi truck on the left.  As we begin to pass, I see out of the corner of my eye Nadine’s left hand reach for the passenger side handle at the top of the roof.  She takes ahold of the handle and begins this screechy noise as if she were in great pain.  The closer we get the louder it gets.  There used to be words that came from her such as, “You’re too close!” or “You’re going too fast!” or “Slow down!”  She has stopped the words, but the loud high-pitched grunting can still be heard as far away as the next town–if our windows were down.  I do have to say that she has gotten better at the voices and mostly uses body language of her hand to express her displeasure at being in the passener’s seat and not being in control of the experience of getting from point A to Point B.

She is experiencing the phenomena of being out of control.  I first experienced this (and probably much earlier, but I can’t remember them now) when I was teaching my children to drive.  As long as I was at the wheel, I was fine.  It was only when I turned the 400 horse powered vehicle over to the hands of my children that I felt the same emotions that Nadine does with me at the wheel.

I am reminded of an illustration one time I heard of a person driving on an interstate and having the mindset of never picking up a hitch-hiker.  As they passed the hitch-hiker, they recognized the person was Jesus Christ in the flesh and felt at peace to stop and give Him a ride.  As they were waiting for Him to walk up to the car and get into the passenger seat, they heard a knock on the driver’s side window and there was Jesus.  He didn’t want to sit in the passenger seat, but He wanted to drive and have us give up control of the car (our life)

It’s hard to give up our control  over our life, our driving, our children, our job, our relationships, etc.  Whatever you want to look at regarding life experiences, it’s hard to turn the controls over as Nadine has chosen to do.  But in turning over the controls, something begins to happen.  As a driver, we have to focus on the road, other cars, obstacles that might be in the road, our speed, etc.  When we are the passenger, be have the opportunity to look in all directions and view the beauty that God has placed in front of us to enjoy.  We see the trees, the rocks, clouds, animals that might be darting through the pastures, buildings we never knew existed, signs that tell us where to go, etc.  What needs to happen is to turn the controls over to God so new vistas of life can emerge.

In Psalms 37, David was going through this same dilemma as he wrote this passage and recognized the need to trust in the Lord by committing to the Lord all aspects of life.  It’s difficult to let go of the controls, but only in letting go can we experience all that He has in store for us.

On this journey we need to identify the areas we are controlling to let go and allow God the opportunity to give us the abundant life He has promised to those that turn the controls over to Him.  Enjoy the new journey.

About James Gorton

I am happily married to Nadine, a person I've known for 20+ years. She and her late husband owned Airpark Auto Service where I took my car for years. Four years after my wife died we began dating and the rest is history. We have a blended family of 6 children between us and love visiting them across this country. We recently had our third grandchild between us. We love to hike, bike and ski. I am a psychologist and do relational life coaching for marriages and families primarily. I love what I do and never get tired of seeing marriages and families move to more healthy places in their lives. Five years ago my oldest daughter Deborah encouraged me to begin writing my thought into a blog I call my Jlog (Jim's log). I have become more and more passionate in connecting everyday experiences to spiritual truths. I hope that as you read my Jlog, you will gain insight into your personal life and experience true growth in your personal and relational life.
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